Master of Studies (MSt) in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE)

Course Location Part time, two year course with six residential workshops (each lasting seven days) in Cambridge, UK
Cost £21450
Type of course in situ
Online booking
Course provider University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Available dates for this course

Please contact University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership directly for a current list of course dates

he Master of Studies (MSt) in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE) is a transformative part-time master’s course at the University of Cambridge, for global practitioners working in the built environment. The programme is structured around emerging trends, opportunities and challenges within the built environment such as: sustainability and resilience; health and well-being; energy efficiency; conservation and heritage; stakeholder engagement, and political and regulatory landscapes.

The learning approach is highly interactive and designed to encourage reflection and debate. Participants are supported by a team of expert tutors and supervisors. The speakers, lecturers and facilitators are leading experts and practitioners from both academia and industry. A key feature of the programme is the collaborative learning experience. The programme facilitates shared learning between peers, and networking with the extensive range of contributors, together providing a rich learning environment.

The IDBE Master’s explores how successful, sustainable built environment projects rely on the coordinated effort and visioning of multiple disciplines and professions, and it encourages the integration of skills between specialists from different background disciplines to improve project design. The course themes include:

-Leadership and interdisciplinary practice

-Sustainability and resilience 

-Innovation and technology

-Design thinking and practice

-Research skills

Learning outcomes

-Broad strategic understanding of the context of design and of current challenges and opportunities facing the production of the built environment, such as technological innovation, environmental sustainability, resilience, demographic changes and rising expectations by society for improvements in quality and delivery of architecture and the built environment.

-Awareness of the contribution made by the built environment to the quality of people's lives including their physical health, mental well-being and other social outcomes.


-Critical awareness of current issues and new insights emerging at the forefront of the discipline and which advance professional practice.

-Systematic understanding of the status of knowledge and the way in which techniques of enquiry and research are used to create and produce new knowledge in the discipline.


-The ability to pursue a reasoned argument, including the critical evaluation of assumptions, abstract concepts and evidence in the making of judgements, together with the ability to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution – or identify a range of solutions – to a problem.


-A reflective attitude towards practice and learning, including awareness of the differing (and sometimes conflicting) motivations and values of professional colleagues from other disciplines, and the criteria and expectations of users and other stakeholders including society at large.


-A positive approach towards continuing professional development including an independent and self-directed learning ability to advance knowledge and understanding.


-An understanding of professional ethics including personal and professional responsibilities to individuals and to wider society as a whole.


-Leadership, effective communication and presentation, negotiation and team participation.


-Research skills including undertaking a literature review, identifying gaps and challenges in existing knowledge, framing research questions and conducting an investigation in the search for answers, gathering evidence and data systematically and analysing it so as to answer the research questions, presenting the findings of the investigation, drawing conclusions, and identifying implications for policy and practice.


-Design skills based on inventiveness, originality and the application of knowledge to create innovative solutions to design problems.

More information is available online

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